Book reviews — October 2012
'Secrets of the Tottenham Outrage', by Patricia Collier
Paperback, 26 pages, 2007. To buy a copy write to Mr Lindsay Collier, 12 Penrhyn Grove London E17 5DE, enclosing a cheques or postal order for £3 made out to the Walthamstow Pumphouse Museum
Now less well known than the famous Siege of Sydney Street which took place in January 1911, perhaps because the young Winston Churchill exposed himself to danger during the siege, the Tottenham Outrage of January 1909 was an event of comparable importance. In 1909 two Latvian terrorists, fleeing from an armed robbery at the Schnurmann rubber factory in Tottenham, used modern semi-automatic weapons of German manufacture completely outclassing anything available to the initially unarmed local policemen who pursued them. The fugitives fired about 400 rounds with people killed and wounded. There was a lengthy eastwards chase through Tottenham and Walthamstow worthy of Buster Keaton, involving a tramcar, a milk float and a greengrocer's cart — finally one of the gunmen was surrounded in a cottage and shot himself. What a horrid shock for civilised Edwardian England! Patricia Collier's book contains original research and covers the bravery of the civilian Henry George North, often rather neglected. There is some industrial archaeological interest and the book can be highly recommended.
This is good value. Bob Carr
© GLIAS, 2012